Wednesday, January 07, 2009

RTN Using National Feed; CBS Pulls Password on Sundays, Rules Back on Mondays in March

The other day we gave you an update on what is happening at RTN (Retro Television Network). On Sunday morning, many RTN affiliates had an on-screen message saying the contract with Equity has expired. Then shortly after RTN resumed programming or was replaced totally. On Equity-owned stations, like in Buffalo, RTN has been replaced totally with other programming. RTN was once owned by Equity, but was sold to Luken Communications in June. Equity's contract to distribute RTN had been extended a week past its Dec. 24 expiration date but Dec. 24 also was the deadline on Equity's option to buy back RTN from current owner Luken Communications. Equity is no longer allowed to air the RTN programs on its stations, including WNGS in Buffalo. However, an Equity spokesperson said it eventually might be able to bring the RTN programs back to the Equity stations.
For non-Equity stations, RTN is now using its national feed to program RTN. RTN stations had their own local feed, but due to this Equity fiasco, RTN made a sooner-than-expected flash cut to a new master control and uplink center in Chattanooga, Tenn. By 9 a.m. Sunday, it was able to restore service to most of their stations (not Equity-owned stations, of course) with national feeds.
So what is the schedule like for this national feed? I suggest you take a look at the national feed schedule we posted, so you know what is going to air. Now there are reports that RTN is way off time right now airing shows up to 20 minutes late, so be aware of that. This national feed might be good for some stations because they will get programs that weren't on their local feed. Until this is resolved, RTN will have this national feed to all of its stations. It could be up until today or last the rest of the month or longer, so no idea right now. But it will be nice to see Munsters Today and Harry and the Hendersons on Sunday morning for those stations who didn't get those! If this conflict is still going on Sunday, that is.
There were only four major Equity-owned RTN stations that RTN lost: Little Rock; Buffalo, N.Y.; Panama City, Fla.; and Spokane, Wash. They account for less than 1 percent of the nation's TV households, a small fraction of the network's total reach, which now hovers around 40 percent. In any event, the lost affiliates will be replaced quickly by new affiliates.
RTN won't be allowed to air original programming that Equity had produced such as the late night series Unreliable Sources and Closing Remarks, so total classic TV fans are happy about that, I'm sure.
Equity also refused to transfer RTN's website to RTN. So fans looking for RTNville.com, the website is now MyRetroTV.com. On some stations, RTN is calling themselves MyRetroTV, as well. Will this fiasco force them to change their name, too? We shall see. I'm trying to get in touch with RTN (Mark and Neal if you're reading, please contact me!), and we hope to reach them soon. Due to all of this, their contact info has changed. We hope to try and sit down with them to get you all the information you need. Maybe another Seven Questions interview? We'll try!

CBS has altered its Sunday schedule for the next three weeks. They have pulled Million Dollar Password. The show was originally scheduled for its final two new episodes on Jan. 11 and 25. The show has been doing decent in total viewers but lagging in the adult 18-49 demo. This Sunday (January 11) a special 60 Minutes will air at 8pm following an NFL playoff game from 4-8pm. On Sunday, January 18, CBS will air an all-new episode of The Mentalist on a special night & time at 10pm ET (7pm PT) following the NFL AFC Championship Game from 6-10pm ET. The Mentalist will air immediately following the game on ALL time zones. So 9pm CT, 8pm MT and 7pm PT. In Mountain and Pacific zones, a repeat of The Unit will follow 9pm MT and 8pm PT. Pacific time will have local programming after the repeat of The Unit. Finally, on Sunday, January 25, Million Dollar Password will be replaced with an all-new Cold Case at a special time of 8pm, leading into the Hallmark Hall of Fame Movie from 9-11pm.
So what does this mean for Million Dollar Password? The following week is the Super Bowl, so it is not likely a new episode will air against that. It can't air on Feb. 8 because of the Grammy Awards and then starting Feb. 15 The Amazing Race returns to the slot. So looks like it will not return to Sundays anytime soon. What about Thursdays at 8? They have repeats scheduled thru January 22, but nothing has been booked for January 29 and Feb. 5, so the two final episodes can air then maybe? Survivor returns Feb. 12. I do expect these two episodes to air but not sure exactly when yet. We'll let you know.
Meanwhile, CBS has announced it will return sitcom Rules of Engagement on Monday, March 2 following Two and a Half Men at 9:30pm ET/PT. Worst Week will finish its 16 episodes on Feb. 9 and we won't know probably if that show will return next season until upfront in May. It doesn't look too promising, though. CBS will air repeats on Feb. 16 and 23 of other CBS comedies likely until Rules launches.
View our full CBS schedule updates.


New on DVD/Blu-ray (August)

The Jeffersons - Season Eight Maude - The Complete Second Season 2 Broke Girls - The Complete Fourth Season Mike & Molly - The Complete Fifth Season Welcome Back, Kotter - The Final (Fourth) Season

08/04 - The Comeback - The Complete Series
08/04 - I Love Lucy - Ultimate Season 2 (Blu-ray)
08/04 - Sgt. Bilko (The Phil Silvers Show) - Season Three
08/11 - The Jeffersons - Season Eight
08/11 - Maude - The Complete Second Season
08/11 - 2 Broke Girls - The Complete Fourth Season
08/11 - The Jeff Foxworthy Show - The COmplete Series (Mill Creek)
08/18 - Mike & Molly - The Complete Fifth Season
08/18 - Welcome Back, Kotter - The Final (Fourth) Season
08/25 - King of the Hill - The Complete 11th Season
08/25 - The Mindy Project - Season Three
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Saturday, August 29

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Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of August 31) (All times ET unless noted)

Monday, August 31

  • Victoria Justice (Victorious/Zoey 101) - Watch Victoria on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon at 11:34pm on NBC.
  • Roseanne Barr (Roseanne) - Roseanne stops by Jimmy Kimmel Live! at 11:35pm on ABC.
  • Demi Lovato (Sonny with a Chance) - Demi is a panelist and musical guest on Jimmy Kimmel Live! at 11:35pm on ABC.
  • Melora Hardin (Transparent/Wedding Band/The Office) - Melora is a guest on a repeat of The Late Late Show with James Corden at 12:37am on CBS.
  • Amy Landecker (Transparent) - Amy will be on a repeat of The Late Late Show with James Corden at 12:37am on CBS.
  • Abby Elliott (Odd Mom Out) - Abby appears on a repeat of Watch What Happens: Live at 11pm on Bravo.
  • Tim Conway (McHale's Navy/Rango) - Tim is a guest on a repeat of The Queen Latifah Show, so check your local listings.
  • Cedric the Entertainer (The Soul Man/The Steve Harvey Show) and Niecy Nash (The Soul Man/Getting On/Reno 911!) - Cedric and Niecy are guests on a repeat of The Talk on CBS at 2pm ET/1pm CT-PT.
  • Jeremy Sisto (Suburgatory) and David Walton (About a Boy/Bent/Perfect Couples) - Jeremy and David talk about their new film Break Point on NBC's Today in the 9am hour, on the AOL Build Show, on SI Now and on New York Live on WNBC in New York at 12:30pm ET.